“The truth? You can’t handle the truth!”-Jack Nicholson, from A Few Good Men
- “I really want to do something different than what I am doing now, but I just don’t know what it is”
- “I have two job opportunities, and am totally unsure which one to take!”
- “I know that there are a lot of things wrong about working with this client, but I really don’t know what I will do if I stop working with him.”
- “I don’t feel really happy in this relationship, but I feel confused about what to do.”
- “I really want to start a business, but I don’t know if I have what it takes to be successful.”
Inevitably, after spending ten minutes talking with them, I ask an obvious question.
- My marriage may end if I tell the truth about how I feel
- I spent 3 years and $100,000 pursuing a law degree that I care nothing about and have no desire to use
- If I drop this abusive client, I will have to actually move forward with my own business plans and I don’t know if I am ready for that yet
- If I leave this relationship, I will be alone and may never get the chance to have kids
- If I quit this job, I will have to admit that I made a bad decision and that is deeply embarrassing
- If I start a business and it doesn’t work out, I may put my family at risk
This month’s ezine article attacks this topic and gives some recommendations for distinguishing between genuine confusion and fear of the truth. Read the full scoop here.
One of my favorite quotes about facing truth comes from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
“No one that Phaedrus talked to seemed really concerned about the phenomenon that so baffled him. They seemed to say, ‘We know scientific method is valid, so why ask about it?’Phaedrus didn’t understand this attitude, didn’t know what to do about it, and since he wasn’t a student of science for personal or utilitarian reasons, it just stopped him completely. It was as if he were contemplating that serene mountain landscape Einstein had described, and suddenly between the mountains had appeared a fissure, a gap of pure nothing. And slowly, and agonizingly to explain this gap, he had to admit that the mountains, which had seemed built for eternity, might possibly be something else … perhaps just figments of his own imagination. It stopped him.”